Oz Asset Manager Moves Into Equity Crowdfunding

By Guglielmo de Stefano on Friday 12 February 2016

Savings and Investment

Investec Australia Limited acquires a 20% stake in equity crowdfunding business Equitise.


Asset manager Investec Australia Limited has announced the acquisition of a 20% stake in equity crowdfunding platform Equitise. The stake makes Investec the company's largest shareholder behind Equitise's founders.


Founded in 2014, Equitise is an equity crowdfunding platform that helps Aussie and Kiwi start-ups to raise capital, bringing investors and business owners together. Equitise is part of the Australasian Wealth Investment Limited's (AWI Limited) accelerator program and has received seed funding from AWI Ventures. The latter is a company that invests in digital finance industry start-ups with a particular interest in direct-to-consumer wealth management services.


Investec Australia CEO Milton Samios commented:


“We are particularly attracted to the business model Equitise continues to develop, including the creation of a 'syndicate' investment platform that will allow groups of like-minded investors to create their own investor club for new investment opportunities – essentially taking the ‘angel investor’ model online,”


Investec is an international specialist banking and asset management group that provides a wide array of financial products and services in United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia. Investec is dual listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.


Investec Australia head of direct investments David Philips added:


“Investec has a strong history of asset and funds management and understands the power of distribution and capital intermediation. We see Equitise as an important part of the changes we consider are coming in this space, which will bring cost, time and administrative efficiencies to the process of bringing together providers and users of risk capital,"


At the end of last year, the Australian crowdfunding platform Equitise published a report about the alternative finance market in Australia, focusing on the current state of the Australian economy and highlighting some of the future disruptive changes that are currently occurring in the financial services sector down under.


One trend stands out over the others: established institutions are targeting the alternative finance space in Australia as well. AltFi has already reported the imminent coming of the Redcoats in the Northern hemisphere. J. P. Morgan Chase for instance recently inked a deal with OnDeck Capital and Lending Club, while Goldman Sachs is starting its “Mosaic” operation –writing loans of around $15k-$20k in size. B2R Holdings, a portfolio company of a Blackstone Group LP fund, has also launched into the space.


Back in Australia, it’s definitely worth mentioning the recent agreement between Melbourne-based peer-to-peer platform MoneyPlace and Auswide Bank at the end of last year. As part of the deal, Auswide Bank committed to lend $60m over five years and takes 20 per cent stake in P2P platform.


Similarly, Westpac - another Australian bank - is reportedly piloting a partnership with Prospa, an Australian online business lender and also G&C Mutual Bank is making personal loans via SocietyOne, the first P2P lender to start up in Australia.

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